Internet sensation and steak magnate Salt Bae (nee Nusret Gökçe) owned steakhouse Nusr-et recently made its way to Manhattan. NYC was all over the new place until the critiques actually paid a visit to the Turkish steakhouse and spewed a bunch of negative remarks all over their respective columns.
“Turkish flavors were scarce. Nusret salad for $25 heaped days-old iceberg lettuce and mystery greens with tasteless goat cheese and a few walnuts, raisins and pomegranate seeds”, The Post’s Steve Cuozzo wrote, adding “Rubbing salt into the wound, high-school-grade French fries came to the table 20 minutes before the steak did, and turned cold.”
Meanwhile, Eater critique Robert Sietsema, while appreciating a few of the nuances and his steak, wrote that the place was overpriced, lacked enough Turkish influences despite being branded as one, and also that it’s time Salt Bae upped his stale “cutting and slapping routine” with the steaks.
The bad reviews weren’t limited to just the critiques. A few nearby cooks and restaurant workers too shared their two pence on the matter: “There’s hair, definitely hair in there,” a cook said. “I guess you’re paying for the hair.” But according to one of Salt Bae’s friends, most of the bad words are a result of sheer envy and the fact that Gökçe is setting new standards that are hard for the competition to match up to.
But it’s not just the food and service that’s receiving the poor reviews, Salt Bae himself has been brought under the scanner on account of a two health code violations, as pointed out by Eater.
The first violation debases Salt Bae’s very identity. The live action that the steak master presents to his guests by slicing up the meat in front of them or even seasoning them using his iconic technique is in violation of article 81 of New York City’s health code, which states that bare hand contact with food that is “ready to eat” is prohibited.
Next up, its Salt Bae’s signature getup that may land him in some trouble as well. Especially, the striking gold watch. An additional clause in article 81 reads: “Except for medical alert bracelets or a ring that is smooth and without crevices, such as a wedding band, food workers may not wear jewelry on their arms or hands.” So, and as Eater suggests, it may be a wise move to maybe ditch the watch for a pair of gloves. (And for all we know, golden gloves might just be the next big trend!)
However, despite garnering so much bad publicity and the health code violation, Gökçe remains optimistic. “It (New York) is beautiful. There is an energy here,” he told The Post on Wednesday. “New York is the center of the world — and I’m here to stay.”
Regarding the health code violations, a spokesperson for the Department of Health wrote: “We will be looking into this matter.”
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